January 24th, 2017 By Valerie Schmalz
Despite the last-minute scheduling of a large Women’s March less than two hours after the 13th annual Walk for Life West Coast, tens of thousands of pro-life supporters filled Civic Center Plaza and walked the 1.7 miles from City Hall to Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco Jan. 21.
“There so many people, it was crazy,” said Walk co-chair Eva Muntean who had worked closely with police and held conversations with the organizers of the Women’s March to ensure a smooth transition between the two events.
“The police were out in full force and did a great job throughout the day,” said Muntean. Despite days of rain, including heavy rain and wind in the morning, the rain held off until the Walk’s conclusion. “I thought the weather and the Women’s March might have reduced turnout, but that was not the case,” said Muntean.
About 50 pro-abortion protestors gathered on the sidewalk of Market Street adjacent to where a group of anti-abortion protestors unaffiliated with the Walk had set up a Jumbo Tron with graphic images of aborted babies. A wall of balloons from the Walk organizers attempted to block the images from those passing the spot about midway along the Market Street route. A line of police on motorcycles and on foot formed a barrier between the Jumbo Tron organizers, the pro-abortion demonstrators and the Walk for Life participants.
The Walk for Life West Coast, founded in 2005, is a non-partisan event held on the Saturday closest to the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. This year President Donald Trump’s inauguration sparked a hastily organized nationwide series of Women’s Marches the same day, with San Francisco’s march at 3 p.m., shortly after the Walk rally concluded.
Walk speaker Rev. Clenard Childress has been addressing San Francisco Walk for Life crowds since 2005, and the founder of Black Genocide said he is hopeful for the future. Looking out at a crowd holding signs that declared “We are the pro-life generation” and “Women deserve better than abortion,” the New Jersey Baptist pastor said, “Your light must shine now.”
“This is your time. This is your season,” Childress said.
Childress referred tacitly to Trump’s pledge to appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices, defund Planned Parenthood and block foreign aid to organizations that provide abortion. Two days later, on Jan. 23 Trump made good on his pledge by signing an executive order barring U.S. foreign aid to non-governmental organizations which provide or promote abortion.
“It is a season where God is moving on behalf of those who have labored for so long,” Childress said. Childress urged prayers for Democratic and Republican leaders in Washington, D.C.